An interview underway

I have been a recruiter for over ten years and there are common hiring mistakes that so many managers will make. During this time I’ve seen a lot of bad ideas repeated by hiring managers who don’t know any better.

Common Recruitment Mistakes

As a recruiter I provide services to both employers and candidates. This means that I can take a balanced approach to this and help you to identify the worst hiring mistakes.

Finding a perfect match can be a challenging process for both hiring managers and job seekers. It takes time and energy to define a job role, carry out interviews and determine the best candidate. Candidates will often accept that their task may be challenging. Yet many candidates will underestimate the challenge for hiring managers.

Taking the right approach means managers can avoid the common hiring mistakes. It is important to start on the right path and continue with that approach. If you follow this guide then you can avoid making these common mistakes whenever you’re next hiring.

Common Hiring Mistakes:

Anything up to 60% of candidates will withdraw from a recruitment process early. The fact of the matter is that this means that something has changed for them. Sometimes it is a change in their own circumstances. For others the job or hiring manager have fallen short of their expectations. It is important to manage the elements you can control.

When a candidate leaves the process, you cannot assume that they were not the best candidates. This can have consequences for your business. It is in your interest to remove the obstacles that are stopping people from staying in the process.

Examples include:

Poorly Defined Job Role and Requirements

This is one of the most common hiring mistakes. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t get it. Your job is to make it as simple as possible for candidates to showcase relevant skills and experience. There is little point in hiding your expectations or believing they are implicit. If you have an expectation of them, tell them right away.

A surprisingly high number of hiring managers write a misleading job advert. It is important to separate out the tasks you expect them to carry out and your expectations from them.

The most common complaint for applicants is that they’ve had to repeat information. So ensure that you take the time so structure your adverts to remove that possibility. Do this through distinct sections for the tasks involved, experience required and expectations.

It is also a great idea to clearly identify which elements are ‘essential’ and which are ‘desirable’. This allows candidates to tag their skills and experience against your advert. Your job adverts should be designed to make the process simpler for applicants. This way, you can ensure that you are receiving applications from the best candidates.

Lack of Transparency

If a candidate is applying for more than one position, they often become frustrated. Submitting a job application can be a lengthy process. If you fail to communicate with them as expected, this can set a bad precedent for your company.

Whilst this is no longer one of the most common hiring mistakes, but it still occurs too often.

This is especially frustrating for candidates who are filling in forms online. It is so simple to send out an acknowledgement of receipt that candidates will expect to receive one. Automated responses are also expected with email submissions. Remember that candidates will want to know when they can expect to hear back from you.

A strong candidate will always spend time and effort to tailor their response to your job advert. As a result, they will expect a level of communication and transparency from you. If you can take the time to provide them with the key information, this will present your firm in the best way. By presenting your firm in this light, you are adding to the impression that it is a great place to work.

Slow Sifting

A red flag for candidates is when a company takes too long to sift through the applications. This is also a problem if the interviews are set too far in advance. Either way, this can lead to a frustrated candidate who will then go for interviews elsewhere.

Experienced recruiters will have experienced this from the hiring manager’s perspective. It is easy to make this mistake. If you write a particularly great advert, it can attract 10x the anticipated responses. As a hiring manager, you need the time to sift through them in line with their expectations.

It is crucial to plan ahead and recognise that you are likely to be busy when it comes to sifting. Ensure that you have time and capacity to do this properly, or request help from other members of your team. This is also something that a recruitment company can help you with.

Viewing Applicants as a Commodity Rather than as People

The most important thing, is to focus on the candidate rather than the process. If you treat candidates like a herd of applicants that need pushing through a process, it won’t work!

Being process rather than people driven can present itself as:

– Leaving interviewees waiting.

– Not making proactive attempts to put people at ease.

– Avoiding the candidates’ questions.

– Not requesting feedback from applicants.

– Not taking that feedback on board and making reasonable changes.

In most instances, a hiring manager should be able to look at their company culture for guidance. They can then compile a process that works for the company and helps bring in the best candidates. If you get it right, then new employees will come in happy, engaged and ready to do their best work.

James Saunders - Talent Locker

James Saunders – Workplace Recruitment Specialist and Director at Talent Locker – Chandlers Ford

James leads the Workplace and Real Estate team.